Thursday, April 27, 2006

None of the Above

So, the roommate and I were ranting about politics last night (he the conservative Atheist, me the liberal Catholic) and he came up with an idea that is so funny and brilliant and inplausible I just had to bring it up here. Hell, I bet someone's come up with it before, but this is the first I really thought about it.

You see, he and I (despite our differences) agree on a great many things. One of those things is that the sheer jackassery of the far left and the far right need to be ratcheted down significantly, because none of that really helps Average Joe Taxpayer in his day to day life.

Our big disagreement comes in with what to do about it.

I think the price of non-engagement leads us to where we are today. I think that the country would be well served if reasonable folks started showing up at local Party meetings.

Jerz thinks both political parties have failed. He'll never vote Democrat, but he can't stand being "'W'ith-Stupid.' He wants every eligible voter to vote for themselves, just to show folks how unhappy people are. Then he hit on it, an idea of sheer brilliance:

The None of the Above Vote.

Every election should have a "None of the Above" tab that every voter can vote for instead of the lesser of two evils who make it through the primaries. If "None of the Above" wins the election, neither candidate can run for office again for two years, and the election cycle starts over until we have someone that a real majority of people vote for.

Yes, that's kind of a glamour idea - just like the "No sitting Senator can run for President" proposal (which I think is a phenomenal idea). But the simplicity behind it coupled with my vivid imagination to see an America where we could just hit the "restart" button on every election....


Dante said...

Your "new" idea is at least old enough to drink. It was used as a means for Richard Pryor's character to blow through a ton of money in the 1985 movie Brewster's Millions.

My personal favorite voting option is the vote for Cthulhu. Why vote for the lesser of two evils?

Buzzzbee said...

If you could get all moderates to do that, you would have only the extreme right and the extreme left voting for actual candidates. This makes me wonder though; do people on the far right and left believe they are on the far right and far left? I don't recall ever meeting anyone who considered their ideas extreme.

On a serious note though, if we were serious about a multi-party system, we would actually have to focus mostly on state level politics since that's were election law is decided. I don't believe there would be much to do on the constitution besides setting up certain things like runoffs for the multiparty presidential races. After all, this country was not designed to be run by republicans and democrats.

I do, however, think runoffs would be vital for people to be able to vote for who they want. Everyone would vote for their favorite candidate out the numerous that are running, without feeling that they should vote for the "most electable". Then, the top two are decided and everyone votes for the one they like best out of the two. People would be a lot more satisfied with this setup I think.

The state level is where it’s really designed for two party politics, and a large amount of overhauling would need to be done in every state. The democrats and republicans have spent many, many years making themselves the only ones who could get elected and usually the only ones on the ballot. It would take quite a bit of work to clean that up.

I always wondered why the people who vote for Nader and Perot, and the actual candidates themselves don’t realize that just running won’t change anything. Let’s just imagine that by some miracle, one of those guys won. What would happen? Either it would just be a one time thing, or their party would take over for one of the other two. This has happened before. Remember Lincoln? He and his republicans took over for the whigs.

Of course the other important variable in this situation is the American people. Could they actually handle a multi-party system? The major benefit of the two party system to them is that they can go into a voting booth without any real knowledge of the candidates and just look for those R’s and D’s. Do our fellow citizens really have the attention span for a multiparty system? If not, this may cause more mess and confusion than help.